January 28, 2009

One Thing or the Other . . .

My classroom looks great--it's all set for Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet. My Shakespeare stations are up, my copies for the next week are made, and my lessons are almost set. (I'll get them typed up tomorrow during plan. My grades are all caught up, I've changed my board for tomorrow, and I am raring to go.

My house, ah, my house. I have loads of laundry, floors that haven't been swept/vacuumed in 2009, dusting that needs to be done, a desk piled to high heaven, thank you notes for Christmas still languishing, appointments to be made, grocery shopping to be done, knitting that desperately needs finishing, four new/newish books all going at once, and a husband that needs fed.

I feel contented at school. It's taken some hard work, but I am caught up, or ahead, in almost everything I need to do. It's fabulous. Home, not so much. I don't feel contented there, just burdened by the work. I wish I could go home and feel caught up and delighted to be there.

As I've typed this, though, I've thought of the real reason the disparity exists--at school, I am warm about 95% of the time. My classroom has its temperature issues, but most of the time it's pretty toasty. At home, I am warm when I am in the shower, or in bed under a pile of covers. Neither of those places is conducive to finishing off the work I have to do. Yep, that's right. I'm blaming this all on Mr. Cold and his frigid home. If only I could crank that temp up a few degrees, maybe I could accomplish the tasks I need to do! Or maybe that's just one more flimsy excuse.

January 26, 2009

Pregnancy Observations

  • Maternity pants do not have pockets. I just stuck a dollar bill in my bra as I ran off to run errands around school. It was quite convenient, although I really do miss pockets. My maternity jeans, which do have pockets, have really shallow ones. I can't stick my whole hand in the pocket. If you haven't checked out my hands recently, they're pretty small.
  • When you've been chubby about half your life, and worked really hard to "suck in your gut" on a regular basis, it's both odd and freeing to just give up, let go, and let that gorgeous belly hang out. I'm starting to get used to it.
  • Ladies, if you are planning to be pregnant at any point of your life, and you do not currently sleep on your left side, start practicing. I am a life-long stomach/back sleeper, and I am missing those comfortable positions. Missing them like some women miss alcohol or cigarettes during pregnancy, I imagine. That first hour of sleep on my back after I give birth, ah, heaven.
  • I've always wondered why pregnant women rested their hands on their tummies, or touched them, and now I know. It's a magnet. I cannot keep my hands off of it. I am my own Buddha to rub.

January 22, 2009

I'm the Chick Carrying the Dude

So. I'm having a boy. Which means, right now, I am carrying a little tiny baby of the opposite gender. This is seeming a bit weird to this logical feminist. Yes, I know, millions upon millions of women have carried men, or there wouldn't be any, but it just seems odd.

The idea of having a boy briefly entered my mind, but I then scared it away with image upon positive image of having a girl. In Mr. Cool's testosterone filled family, I thought a little girl power would do us all good. Now, I have to reconcile myself to the (not terrible) idea of having a boy.

I must say I feel blessed to live in a time where I can rejoice equally in having a boy or a girl. Anne Boleyn had a quite a girl, Elizabeth I, but never enjoyed having a daughter, so desperate was she to have a son. Sons for century upon century have been the crowning glory of a family, fulfilling the deep and abiding need to have an heir. So, should all go as planned, I shall provide Mr. Cool with an heir. Mission accomplished, for most women of the past.

I'm not giving up my dream of having a girl, though. As much as I will love and cherish Master Cool, I delight in knowing that I have, in the time and place I live in, the opportunity to love and cherish a daughter as well. In the past, most daughters were shunted aside, unmentioned, their worth contained in their value on the marriage market. Today, sadly enough, many countries still value having a son over a daughter. In fact, from most people I speak with, this is a bit true here in the "modern" U.S. as well. "Oh, boys are so easy!" I hear every time I talk to older mothers, "Girls are so much drama, and so much more expensive, and you have to worry about them so much more as teenagers . . ."

Even today, a boy is viewed as better by so many people. This hits the crux, I think, of both my feminism and my belief. The founding fathers stated that "all men are created equal," and Genesis doesn't even name Adam and Eve's daughters, but I have to believe, in order to live, that as a woman I too have been created equal, that in the eyes of God I am equally loved. The weight of women throughout time has been to view themselves as less than a man. I don't believe that--I can't believe that and have a happy and fulfilling life as a woman.

So, in the past, and around the world, I have hit the jackpot. I am having a son. I cannot wait to begin teaching him the value of women, so that someday, when he has daughters of his own, he will value them as much as he will be valued.

January 20, 2009

TAMP: Baby, Baby, Pirate: Update Alert!!!

Well, it's official, the country has a new president, Secretary of the Interior, and I have renewed my interest in "pee tee-pees" and other baby schlock. Yes, another boy will enter the noble line that is my proud last name, but lets not let that get in the way of good post. Baby stuff is both awesome and awesomely disturbing, all at the same time.

In the same store one can get a matching velour sweat suit, a breast pump kit, and the requisite hip-hugger-low-rise-preggo panties that are all the rage with hipster mothers these days - you can get "Babies do Madonna" and "Big Bob Marley" - CD's for easy listening kids. Personally, I like me some Bob Marley, but I don't think I need a kids choir rehashing "Buffalo Soldier" or "Like a Prayer" infesting the development of musical taste in my child. Think on that for now, and I promise pictures of other notable schlock in future trips to "babies-R-commerce."

On another note, as consistent with my habit to say things that make people ponder my sanity - during our ultrasound today to confirm the sex of Lord Mountbatten (due date June 6th), Quite Cool and I were discussing the idea of gender norming and I stated that if she wanted to teach our boy to knit that would be fine by me. I see no need to keep him from this hobby, and while Quite Cool is in agreement - she is also aware how mean boys can be to non-normative stereotypes - so I say "you teach him how to knit, and I'll teach him how to stab those who make fun of him." Of course I say this jokingly serious, while the Ultrasound Technician just stops what she's doing and stares at me like I just yelled "those aren't my pants, and that's not my baby!" All in good days work - let the reign of boys continue...

Great Inaugural Addresses

Lincoln's First Inaugural

It's inauguration day, and we shall see if Obama can measure up to the great oratory past presidents have laid down on their first day at work.

Lincoln: "I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." from his first inaugural address

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." from his second inaugural address

TR: "We in our turn have an assured confidence that we shall be able to leave this heritage unwasted and enlarged to our children and our children's children. To do so we must show, not merely in great crises, but in the everyday affairs of life, the qualities of practical intelligence, of courage, of hardihood, and endurance, and above all the power of devotion to a lofty ideal, which made great the men who founded this Republic in the days of Washington, which made great the men who preserved this Republic in the days of Abraham Lincoln."

FDR: "This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.24
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.25
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

January 18, 2009

A Bit of a Wager

Will the new Cool be a Master, or a Mistress? We find out on Tuesday! Give us your best guess, and I will choose a winner to receive a special, handknitted prize!

January 17, 2009

New Specs

On December 30, a sad and tragic event occurred. While I was gently buffing my glasses with a microfiber cleansing cloth, they broke. Snapped right across the bridge of the nose. I was in a hurry to go shopping, so I found myself frantically trying to fix them. See, they were the only pair of classes I had, and I can't see without my glasses. I ended up fastening a band-aid around the center, as it was the only adhesive I could get to work. Mr. Cool managed to super-glue them together, and they lasted until yesterday, when once again they snapped.

Mr. Cool insists that I should take a picture of my band-aided black plastic specs and do a compare and contrast. I say, no. No picture of that nerdtacular sight will ever be taken or published. Instead, you must make do with a quick snap of my new pair, although the dark blue color didn't quite transfer to the camera. I like them quite a lot, but most of all, I like being able to see without a band-aid bridge sliding down my nose.

January 16, 2009

Never Plead Guilty

It is no secret to those who know me that I read a lot of British mystery novels. The quantity, my friends, is vast. And I was saddened to learn today that I will have no more to read from one of my favorites, John Mortimer. Mortimer created the truly irascible and delightful Rumpole of the Bailey (whom you might know from PBS's Mystery series), who loved Pommeroy plonk (cheap wine), She Who Must Be Obeyed (his wife), and defending obviously guilty clients. Rumpole and the Reign of Terror, one of his most recent, dealt delightfully and intelligently with the racial profiling post 9-11. Rumpole always got the guilty off, either by proving their innocence, stupidity, or using his own charm.

Mortimer and Rumpole, you will be missed. Hopefully it's a day of mourning at the Old Bailey.

January 15, 2009

Sticking to Goals

At the beginning of this semester, I had my students write goals. They had to be personal, achievable, and important to them. To model, I wrote my own goal: I would stay ahead of the grading. I even got specific--by each Friday, I will have all the work turned in by the previous Friday graded. (I hope that makes some semblance of sense.)

So, tomorrow is Friday, our first Friday to hand out progress reports. And the progress on my goal? Success! I have one more assignment to grade (for only two classes) and I will have everything turned in by this Tuesday graded! Only two weeks into the semester and my students will be receiving a progress report with three whole grades on it! I am giddy! (Can't you tell by the number of exclamation points?)

Will I be able to stick to this goal? I don't know. It has meant some sacrifices--I had to avoid cruising all my favorite blogs and Ravelry for a bit. I had to actually use copier time for grading instead of reading. But, as I told my students, all goals involve sacrifice. And a few lost hours of reading has led me to the free feeling that catching up on grades grants a person.

January 14, 2009

Designing Your Oval Office

President George W. Bush's Oval Office Rug

As we inch up on the Inaugural, one of the things that will be changing in the White House is the Oval Office. Each president gets to choose paintings, busts, desks, and the rug to fit his or her taste. George W. Bush really loved his rug, making it a focal point of his office.

Most presidents choose the Resolute desk, a gift from Queen Victoria, made out of timbers from the HMS Resolute, a ship that searched for John Franklin's ill-fated northwest passage and got stuck in the Arctic ice.
Typically, a portrait or bust of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln graces the room. The rug always features the seal of the United States--the eagle. Harry Truman changed to have the eagle facing the olive branch.

How would you decorate your Oval Office?

January 12, 2009

Recipe for a Perfect Snow Day

1 pair sweatpants
6 episodes of "Flight of the Conchords"
2 glasses fresh, ice-cold milk
1 clean bathroom
1 clean kitchen
1 newly appointed gym
1 new workout DVD
1 new mystery novel
1 snuggly husband
3 inches of snow (at least)
20 mph + gusty winds

Put it all together, and you have a magical Monday. Just yesterday, I said to Mark, "I really need a freak blizzard that leads to a snow day." And finally, it happened. Praise the Lord.

January 09, 2009

A Generational Observation

As I am now "showing," I've started to get more response from students, friends, etc. I've noticed something interesting. Almost every adult who talks to me, and knows about the pregnancy, has asked, "How are you doing?" Every single student I have (who has talked to me about the pregnancy) has asked, "How is your baby?"

I find this interesting, although I don't have a great sociological or psychological explanation. Any thoughts?

January 07, 2009

The Cat's Out of the Bag

Now that school is back in session, and I've been forced to put away my beloved jeans, I am in full-on maternity clothes. Yesterday, I was wearing maternity khakis with a top salvaged from my normal wardrobe. Today, I am going the Full Maternity, with pants and a top. Yes, the bump has grown, and it should be quite obvious to students and faculty that I am pregnant.

Of course, they've all known for a while, but now I'm starting to look like it. This is a big step--and to be honest, it makes me nervous. Soon, strangers at Borders and Target will know as well. I will have the international pregnancy sign--a bump and an empire-waisted top flowing gracefully over it.

I have really enjoyed the bit of secrecy my slow-showing allowed me to have--the fact that I knew it, but that person checking me out had no idea. In my top today, most people will have a clue. The questions will start--"When are you due?" "Is it a boy or girl?" "Are you excited?"--and, horror upon horrors, I may also be getting close to the belly-rubbing stage.

Shudder. As a private, not very touchy-feely person, I would really love to skip that phase. But it's coming, oh, I know it's coming. And I know I'll survive. I'll survive this whole new experience, and the reward is pretty dang awesome.

(Oh, and on a maternity pants note, I feel like I'm wearing sweatpants to school, only they are sweatpants that look like dressy pants. It is pretty awesome to have dispensed with buttons and zippers. Why can't they make these pants for non-pregnant women?)

January 04, 2009

A Day of Mourning

Darn you, San Diego!
Once again, you snuck up on my Colties!
Darn you!
I grind my teeth and kick my water bottle in your general direction.

Darn you, end of Christmas Break!
Once again, you snuck up on me!
Darn you!
I grade frantically and grumpily prepare for school in your general direction!

I hope everyone had a delightful break--I will be back with tales of Christmas, yarny gift goodness, current projects, pregnancy updates, and so much more--once my first semester grades are entered, my classroom cleaned, and lessons planned for last week--it's 2009!